It’s been thirty-one years since California-based Five Ten started shipping shoes with Stealth Rubber, and since then they’ve been applying it to hiking, climbing, mountain biking and
even films (there are many sources for that, but that’s the only one that titles company founder Charles Cole as “Rubber Wizard”). Their first mountain bike shoes hit around the year 2000, and the 2017 range has promising signs that they’re catering to riders in wetter locales. This is the new Freerider Pro, a completely redesigned version of the previous Freerider. The upper is quicker drying that before, and it has an EVA backed toe box. Unlike last year’s shoes, which featured a completely smooth centre section, 2017 shoes move back to an entirely dotty rubber sole. The mens version has four different colourways, from loud, to this black and red, to… … trusty old black and white. This is the women’s, which is built on a different last to create a snugger fit around the heel, along with a smaller volume forefoot. The women’s Freerider Pro is also available in non-pink. The new Danny MacAskill shoe has a much more casual look, almost like a skate shoe, but that suede upper and plain black sole disguise Five Ten’s usual bike-specific features. There is of course the Stealth S1 dotty rubber sole. Inside the sole is also their EVA midsole shock absorber. According to signage at the booth, the Danny MacAskill signature model “captures the essence of Danny’s persona”. His sole? This version is about 60% of the way to “wingtip”; insert obligatory footwear story joke about shoes, clubbing, &c. Clipless riders aren’t left out, but the revised Hellcat (right) and new Hellcat Pro (left) are decidedly gravity oriented (there are other clipless shoes in the Five Ten range, but not new for this year). Both get a full dotty Stealth S1, SPD compatible sole. The Hellcat Pro was designed with Greg Minaar; as a result it has a very burly TPU toe box. The diagonal strap is designed to lock your heel right into the back of the shoe. As with the Freerider Pro, the women’s version is built around a different last to give a snugger heel and lower volume forefoot. In both the Pro and non-Pro Hellcats, there’s only one colour option: black and pink. Not new, but let’s take another look at the Freerider ELC, eh? No one’s going to torpedo your feet while you’re wearing these.